Dems pick candidate Tuesday |

Dems pick candidate Tuesday

Harriet Hamilton
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Come January, Eagle County will have a new congressional representative in Washington, and Tuesday’s Democratic primary may well determine who that representative will be.

With the minimally funded Republican candidate ” Lafayette aerospace engineer Scott Starin ” given little chance for victory in the November general election, most observers expect Tuesday’s vote in the heavily Democratic district to seal the deal for one of the three Democratic Party candidates.

Rep. Mark Udall, Colorado’s 2nd District congressman since 1999, opted not to seek reelection, and chose instead to run for the U.S. Senate seat made vacant by the retirement of Republican Sen. Wayne Allard.

While congressional races for seats without an incumbent candidate are often hotly contested, the 2nd District made Colorado history this year as having the most expensive primary on record. Multi-millionaire Boulder entrepreneur Jared Polis also won mention in the record books for contributing more personal money to his campaign than any other candidate in the nation.

Polis, a former Chairman of the State Board of Education, has spent more than $5 million in a bid to defeat his two Democratic opponents: former State Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald and former Great Outdoors Colorado executive director Will Shafroth.

Although there are about 150,000 registered Democrats in the 2nd District ” which includes Summit, Eagle, Grand, and Clear Creek counties, along with the city of Boulder and portions of the Front Range ” Udall won the last open-seat primary in 1998 with a mere 11,860 votes. Experts project a turnout of between 30,000 and 60,000 total Democratic voters Tuesday.

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